Led by Flinders University, backed by the Premier’s Science Research Fund and the State Government and engaging a range of leading edge companies and local councils, the Program will bring together Flinders, University of Adelaide and University of SA researchers with commercial backers, manufacturers and end-users of medical assistive technology.
The Program is a collaborative initiative that will enable the early involvement of all the relevant parties in identifying clinical needs and levels of demand for medical devices, and will also streamline the complex process of bringing new products to the market.
“The Medical Device Partnering Program builds on current capability in South Australia and offers the potential for new, smart industries to be established in the wake of the departure of traditional manufacturing activities like Mitsubishi’s car-making,” Flinders Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber, said today.
“Flinders is delighted to be playing a leading role part in a high-technology future for the State,” Professor Barber said.
Officially launching the Program, the Minister for Health, John Hill, said SA “has huge potential to establish a strong base to produce medical devices technology”.
“I have asked the Office for the Southern Suburbs and the Department of Trade and Economic Development to work closely with other agencies to provide me with a more detailed assessment of the sector, and to identify ways to stimulate its growth in collaboration with the Medical Device Partnering Program” Mr Hill said.
“Recently, I launched the $5 million Small Business Development Fund, which is part of the assistance package that makes up the joint Federal and State government response to the wind-down of the Mitsubishi plant at Tonsley Park,” he said.
“Projects with a bias towards innovation and the introduction of new technology are encouraged to apply, particularly those from the medical devices sector.”
Associate Professor Karen Reynolds, who heads Flinders University’s medical devices research cluster, said that Flinders already has a strong research and development record in the field, with a number of devices designed at the University currently in commercial production. These include the Epidural Injection Simulator, a device that allows trainee anaesthetists to practise administering spinal injections with a high degree of realism and without risk to patients.
“The Program will comprise a world-class research team, the equipment and facilities to undertake medical device development and prototyping, and will be a driver to manage and coordinate targeted medical device projects across the State,” Associate Professor Reynolds said.
The new Program will also have the benefit of the expertise of the University’s commercialisation arm, Flinders Partners.